will introduce you to the principles of the design, evaluation,
and implementation of computer programming languages. As such it
is not a crash course to teach you to program in a half dozen
new dialects, although you will find learning new languages
easier as a result of this study. Our emphasis will be on the
kinds of features languages might have, how they influence a
programmer's thought process, and how they may be implemented on
(The above paragraphs are from Dr. Ray Zarling's CS 4100 course
description, with permission.)
Textbook is Principles
of Programming Languages: Design, Evaluation, and Implementation
(Third Edition), by Bruce J. MacLennan
Instructor: Dr. Megan Thomas
Office: Demergasso-Bava Hall 279
Web Page: www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas
Best way to contact Dr. Thomas:
Email email@example.com Please put "CS4100" in the subject
line of the email.
of the Writing Proficiency Screening Test with a passing score, and
Warning: I reserve the right to make changes to the
syllabus at any time during the term by announcing them in class
and on my web page.
Grading and Policies
Final grades will be based on projects and assignments, a term
project and exams. A plus and minus grading scale wll be used to
assign final grades. Except for designated collaborative activities
in connection with the project, all writing and other work you
present for credit must be entirely your own, or developed on your
own in consultation with the course instructor or other Department
faculty. Penalties for representing other people's work as your own
will range from No Credit on an assignment through failure of the
course and possible University disciplinary action. Over the course
of the term we will discuss these issues in more detail, but it is
your responsibility to seek clarification and understand the
parameters involved. Your work may be electronically checked for
plagiarism using Turnitin.com.
Projects and Assignments:
Homework will usually require you to organize you thoughts about some aspect
of the material we are studying, and to write a carefully crafted
and thoughtful paper. Some parts of your assignments will be used
only for class discussion and not turned in, but usually they will
be graded. In aggregate, all homework you turn in will comprise 30%
of you final grade. Some of the questions will require problem
solving or programming skills, but programming segments or other
technical language will generally be in service of some larger point
supported by prose arguments. Essays must be prepared on a word
processor. Late assignments will be accepted unless you are notified
otherwise, but will suffer a grading penalty dependent on the degree
addition to these assignments, you will be required to write a term
project. Specific requirements and a timetable will be distributed
early in the term. The final draft of the project will be due at the time normally
scheduled for the final. It will not be accepted after that time.
The project grade will be based upon earlier writing activities as well
as the final product and will, in aggregate, count as 30% of your
final course grade.
Submission of Projects and
All projects and assignments (unless otherwise
stated) are to be turned as follows:
1. A hard copy is to be turned in at the beginning of class on the
2. An electronic copy is to be uploaded to the CSHomework System
by midnight on the due date.
There will be two
exams given during the course of the semester, approximately in the
sixth and the last weeks of the semester. The exact time of the
exams will be announced a week in advance of each exam. Each exam
will account for 20% of your final grade.
Projects and Assignments
(The above four paragraphs borrowed liberally from Dr. Ray Zarling's
CS 4100 course description, with permission.)
The work you do for this course will be
your own, unless otherwise specified. You are not to submit other
people's work and represent it as your own. I consider academic
honesty to be at the core of the University's activities in
education and research. Academic honesty is expected at all times
in this course.
Regular class attendance is expected;
attendance for certain activities will be required. Students are
responsible for all announcements and in-class discussion.
Cell Phone Policy
If you attempt to use your cell phone or leave it on
during an exam, you will be considered to have finished your test,
and I will collect your exam at that time. Exceptions may be
made only if you discuss your situation with me prior to the start
of that day's class.
Audio / Video Recording Policy
Audio or video recording (or any
other form of recording) of classes is not permitted unless
expressly allowed by the faculty member as indicated in the course
syllabus or as a special accommodation for students who are
currently registered with the Disability Resource Services Program
and are approved for this accommodation. Recordings allowed as
special accommodations are for the personal use of the DRS-approved
student, and may only be distributed to other persons who have been
approved by the DRS program. Faculty may require the student sign an
Audio / Video Recording Agreement, which they may keep for their
University Writing Center
The Writing Center offers free individual
and small group tutoring to students from all disciplines and at
all levels of proficiency. Dedicated to encouraging dialogue
among writers and helping students become successful writers,
the Writing Center provides a supportive, judgment-free
atmosphere in which tutors share strategies and experiences at
each stage of the writing process. Graduate and undergraduate
tutors are evolving writers who, through experience and
training, continue to develop their abilities as tutors and writers.
The Writing Center website is located at
Phone: Writing Center: (209) 667-3465
University Services: Disability, Career, Dreamers
CSU Stanislaus respects all forms of diversity.
By university commitment and by law, students with
disabilities are entitled to participate in academic activities and
to be tested in a manner that accurately assesses their knowledge
and skills. They also may qualify for reasonable accommodations that
ensure equal access to lectures, labs, films, and other
class-related activities. Please see the instructor if
you need accommodations for a registered disability. Students
can contact the Disability Resource Services office for additional
The Disability Resource Services website :
Phone: (209) 667-3159
Career and Professional Development Center : https://www.csustan.edu/career
CSU Stanislaus Dreamers: Resources for AB540 and undocumented students : https://www.csustan.edu/dreamers/
Interesting Articles, and Web Sites for Paper Sources
- TIOBE Index of popular programming languages, one of many lists that try to identify the currently most popular programming languages.
- Top 10 Programming Languages: Spectrum's 2019 Ranking (September 2019)
- "Teach Foundational Language Principles" (May 2015) - An article wherein you may find paper topic ideas.
- "Rob Pike - 'Concurrency Is Not Parallelism'" (31 minutes, 2013)
Rob Pike is one of the creators of the Go programming language. (Ken Thompson is one
of the others. Created the B language, direct precursor to C.)
- "Understanding Apple's SSL/TLS Bug"(Feb 2014, imore.com) - uh, oh, goto...
- "XX Factor: The Woman Who Put Man on the Moon", a podcast by
If you have ever wondered who started the use of the term 'software engineer,' well,
this podcast will answer that question.
- Historical Computers
- Writing Advice
- Places to find sources for your papers
- ACM Digital Library (freely accessible from campus; visit via CSU Stanislaus Library web site to access from off-campus)
- Safari Tech Books Online (visit via CSU Stanislaus Library web site to access full text of books - scroll down the page to find the link to Safari)
- ACM SIGPLAN: SIGPLAN is the Programming Languages group within the ACM, so their web site lists many of the PL-specific conferences,
along with winners of Best Paper awards and other possibly useful information. You would still need to visit the ACM Digital Library to download the papers themselves.
- Numerous other reputable sources of CS papers exist (IEEE, Usenix, etc),
but the sources listed here are most likely to contain programming languages work useful for this class.
(The contents of this web page are borrowed liberally from
Dr. Melanie Martin's CS 4100 course description, with permission.)